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We've been using the leader for a week now and, despite my initial concerns, I have to make some concessions. First, Dad seems to be in a much better mood on walks. I'd always assumed he was just a surly and temperamental pet but perhaps he doesn't like to walk as fast as I do or appreciate how strong I am. He also doesn't rub his arms and elbows in pain at the end of walks anymore. I always assumed he was geriatric but maybe he's just a frail animal and trying to keep up with me, his owner, was a challenge. I would rate this product very low because I really am a busy dog and have places to go and things to sniff, but I have to be objective. Both my pets, Dad and Mom, seem to love the thing and it's been a happier household since the Gentle Leader ® came into our lives. I can't imagine how much good stuff we've missed walking as slow as we now do, but if it's had this much of a positive impact on my human pets, I guess I can't help but give it a solid four paws. On the upside, I get a lot more of those hard to reach itches on my back scratched by letting my human walk by my side.
Review of the Premier's Gentle Leader ® Head Collar
I've had my human well trained for 6 years now. I run to the end of the leash, he grunts, groans or yells his approval, his joints give a satisfyingly rewarding pop and off we go on our walks. I do this at the beginning of our walks, the middle of our walks and, unless I'm too tired to continue entertaining my human, at the end of our walks. I know I should be consistent in my human training but I sometimes get tired at the end of our walks and let my human walk by my side for the trip home.
A week ago my human came home with a bag. He looked very pleased with himself as he removed the bag's contents. At first I was excited. The bag smelled of pet store and that usually means toys. The human (I call him "Dad") set to opening the package with his paws (why they don't use their teeth for that kind of thing is beyond me) and pulled out some strange contraption and a piece of paper which he stared at for a while. So far no problem but then he tried sticking the contraption on my head and snout.
Wanting none of Dad's craziness, I scolded him, pulled away, and promptly removed the device from my snout with one paw. He went back to staring at the paper for a few minutes, made some adjustments to the new object, and then tricked me into sticking my snout back into it with some food. As the device (Dad keeps calling it a "leader") clicked into place, I backed away to remove it again. It didn't come off. I bucked up and down and it still wouldn't come off. I shook my head, pawed at my snout and still it stayed firmly in place. I whimpered my dissatisfaction at my human but, being human (horribly obtuse creatures, humans), he didn't understand and, instead of assisting, made happy noises at me and smacked me playfully on the top of the head a few times. I decided to ignore the "leader" for the time being. Sometimes ignoring humans is the best way to get them to behave.
The next phase of humiliation came when Dad and his mate (I call her "Mom") brought me their leash, excited for a walk. Thinking nothing of it and still ignoring the leader (which allowed me to pant, eat and drink so it wasn't all that bad at this point) I let Dad click the leash in place and patiently waited for them to gather up the rest of the pack for a walk. The door opened and I did my usual, bounding down the steps, anxious to get the humans to the park. Then my head turned and the show came to a stop.
Unlike our previous walking method, the Gentle Leader ® prevents me from maintaining my usual pace. It forces my head around whenever I lunge to the end of the leash! It doesn't hurt at all but it sure is annoying to have your head turned around when you're trying to get someplace fast. I really made a fuss this time. I pouted and rolled on the ground, I bucked up and down, I rubbed my face on Dad's leg, I did everything I could think of to remove the thing but it just wouldn't come off. After seven or eight minutes of throwing a tantrum, I finally had to accept my fate. Dad wasn't going to take the thing off and I would just have to live with it. The walk continued with me spending most of it close to my human.
Kiwi's Gentle Leader ® still in need of some adjustment
There are many different types of dog training collars on the market today. If you are interested, please visit this great blog: Dog Collars Training Guide.
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By: Kiwi the Aussie